The Ability of Permeability

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In this activity (page 11 of the PDF), learners investigate how quickly water moves through various materials. They measure and compare the permeability of gravel, sand, and soil. Although this was created as a post-visit activity for a workshop about earth processes, it also makes an excellent stand alone activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 2 Liter Bottle, cut in half equally
  • Sand
  • Topsoil
  • Gravel
  • Gauze
  • Rubber Band
  • Stopwatch
  • Coffee Filters
  • Beaker
  • Marker
  • Paper Towels


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Rocks and Minerals
      • Oceans and Water


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Student Workshops


  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009